Fifers clarify the financial position

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EAST Fife’s board has assured fans that there are no immediate financial problems on the horizon – but has admitted extra cash would be welcome.

Following on from Monday’s board meeting, the club issued a statement later that evening to address rumours which had been circulating amongst supporters concerning the Bayview balance sheets.

It started by telling fans that the club is currently solvent and would continue to be so “for the foreseeable future.”

However, it continued: “We, like almost all other football clubs, have experienced a fall in income coupled with an increase in many of our costs.

“Most families have found themselves with reduced or static incomes and increased bills and the club is no different.

“Our local area contains some of the highest poverty and unemployment levels in Scotland and business activity has reduced.”

The statement confirmed that, over the last two months, the total income has been “substantially below” expenditure and regular monthly payments, excluding wages, are sitting at £5000.

During this time the club is trying to survive having played just two home matches in the past eight weeks.

“What these points indicate is that the club has to keep a careful eye on our cash flow – we still have the winter period to face and possible shutdowns with no match income,” the statement from the board added.

“We also have to anticipate future financial needs in the face of dwindling total income and constantly increasing costs.”

One concern highlighted, on internet forums in particular, was how the revenue from this season’s cup clash with Rangers had been used.

With current financial issues in mind, the board says it took the decision on receipt of the gate share from Ibrox to invest two thirds of it, around £100,000, into a fixed interest bond which will mature shortly before the end of the season.

The remainder has been kept for general running expenses and to allow the club to make changes in personnel.

“The board’s main aim is to keep the club in business and so far we have managed this but it would be a foolish person who would predict finances to improve significantly over the next few years,” added the statement.

“We know that when the team starts to put some wins together under new manager Billy Brown the crowds will start to go up.

“But they will still be lower than previous seasons.

“There are no quick fixes and it would be irresponsible of the board to spend money that we think the club will need to ensure we will be solvent next season.

“Anything our supporters can do to bring income to the club is welcome. “

It continued: “Coming to the games as often as possible; setting up a regular payment to the Goldmine; suggesting to friends and family they could use the club’s function room facilities; mentioning to business people that we have rooms available for meetings, training etc.; taking a hospitality package for a family treat such as birthdays; persuading our local small businesses to take an advertising board.

“Anything you can do will be welcome.

“Thank you in advance.”